As De Paul Coach Joey Meyer's worst fears came to pass before his eyes, the Georgetown Hoyas relied on an outstanding perimeter game, led by Reggie Williams and David Wingate, and defeated the Blue Demons, 85-70, today at the Horizon.
Williams, a 6-foot-7 junior, scored 30 points and Wingate 19 as the fifth-ranked Hoyas improved their record to 8-0 and reversed their last loss to a team outside the Big East Conference. De Paul defeated Georgetown, 63-61, here two seasons ago.
The No. 18 Blue Demons (6-1) were led by freshman guard Rod Strickland, who had 20 points in an outstanding performance.
"We definitely remembered that one," said Williams, referring to the De Paul victory. "This has become a real rivalry."
To that end, the game was marred by a number of altercations, although none went beyond the pushing and shoving stage. "There weren't any punches thrown," said Williams. "In big games like this, tempers are gonna flare but bein' in big games is nothing new for us."
That experience showed in the latter stages. De Paul had cut a 13-point Georgetown lead to 65-59 with 6:44 to play. Williams and Wingate responded by combining for 14 points -- 70 percent of the Hoyas' output the rest of the game -- and assured the outcome.
Similarly, in the first half, Williams and Wingate scored all 14 of the visitors' points in one stretch. A run of 10 consecutive points put the Hoyas ahead, 41-32, and it was 41-34 at intermission.
The performance was what Meyer had in mind before the game when he said Georgetown had seven of the nation's best perimeter players.
"We just couldn't stop them," Meyer said. "It was hard for us to go after them aggressively because they're out there playing with four guards and we've got three big guys out there chasing them."
Meyer had hoped to control the tempo by using those big men -- each of De Paul's first four front-court players are at least 6 feet 8 and weigh between 205 and 250 pounds -- to wear down the Hoyas inside. Georgetown Coach John Thompson also was concerned about the size differential.
"I thought the game would get down to a question of whether we would have to substitute up to match their size or if they would have to substitute down to match our quickness," Thompson said. "I think we forced them to put quickness in, and when that happens it usually works to our advantage."
It appeared to some that Georgetown got help in forcing those changes from the officials, Rick Wulkow, Ed Schumere and Gerry Harris, all from the Big Eight Conference. Two of De Paul's front-line starters, Kevin Holmes and Dallas Comegys, were whistled for three fouls apiece in the first half, with Comegys incurring three personals in the first 5:23.
By halftime, former De Paul coach Ray Meyer, the father of Joey Meyer, was wondering aloud who was the home team and offering to pay the referees' plane fare home.
The Blue Demons' general frustration reached the boiling point when Comegys was called for his fourth foul just 35 seconds into the second half, on an offensive move, negating a basket he'd made. Thirty-one seconds later, for the way he expressed his disapproval, Joey Meyer was hit with a technical foul -- the first in his one and a fraction seasons as head coach. About a minute after that, Comegys was fouled and an accompanying fraying of tempers cleared both benches.
"Obviously, I wasn't pleased with what was going on," Meyer said. "I don't get technicals, but I was saying a lot worse than that earlier.
"Part of being a solid team is to be able to play through those things. I told my kids that their job is to play and mine is to control the officials. I guess they could've looked at me and said that I wasn't doing my job."
Michael Jackson (14 points, 10 assists) converted two free throws off the technical, and goals by Williams and Jackson made it 47-34. De Paul rallied to 47-40, but Georgetown in turn pulled away to 53-42, then from 53-46 to 61-48.
The outside shooting of Williams was most impressive, a component of the slim one's game that tended to get lost in the long shadow of Patrick Ewing, now graduated to the New York Knicks of the NBA.
"When you've got a great player like Patrick, you have to look inside and let him work for you," Williams said. "Now, though, people are seeing that David and Horace (Broadnax) and Michael (Jackson) and myself can shoot the ball from the outside. Coach tells us just to take good shots. As long as you do that, it's okay if you miss."
And what exactly constitutes a good shot? "It just has to be a good one," Williams continued. "Whenever it's not, you just hear his (Thompson's) voice."
Today, at least, the majority of sounds coming from Thompson were the sounds of the season.
"In the tunnel (that leads to the floor)," the coach related, "somebody was yelling 'Thompson this and Thompson that.' I just wished him a Merry Christmas and said I hoped he didn't have a heart attack." Mt. St. Mary's 90, UDC 89
Paul Edwards' two free throws with 36 seconds left helped the Mount (5-2) hold off the Firebirds (4-4) in the consolation game of the Ledger Classic in Lakeland, Fla.
Florida Southern beat Delta State, 75-73, for the title.
District of Columbia rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit behind Lyndon DeBellotte (27 points) and had a final chance, but Jerry Wilson was called for traveling with one second left.
Edwards had 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.